ConCourt set to rule in the IEC, DA matter

The commission has argued that the DA was second guessing it and implying that it had no ability to carry out its constitutional mandate to deliver these elections

FILE: A voter placing her marked ballots into the local and national ballot boxes on 8 May 2019. Picture: Eyewitness News.

JOHANNESBURG - The Constitutional Court will on Monday hand down judgment on whether the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) can reopen candidates lists ahead of 1 November polls.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) went to the apex court challenging the IEC’s decision to amend the elections timetable by giving parties another chance to submit names of councillor candidates to contests the local government elections.

The IEC set a new deadline of Tuesday after the court ruled that elections could not be postponed to next year and instructed the commission to hold a voter registration drive - opening the voter’s roll.

The court has already said there would be no oral submissions.

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The commission has argued that the DA was second guessing it and implying that it had no ability to carry out its constitutional mandate to deliver these elections

The African National Congress that missed the initial deadline also wants the DA’s case dismissed.

Some experts believe Monday’s judgement could go in the ANC and IEC’s favour after the Constitutional Court finally released the judgement for 3 September order over the weekend.

In it, the highest court in the land said its order did not instruct nor prohibit the IEC from amending other items on the timetable provided that elections can take place by 1 November.

The provision included in the order is that it must be reasonably necessary.

Legal experts have differed on interpretation of the judgment and on whether it was reasonable for the commission to set a new date for candidates lists.

The IEC argued that holding a registration drive meant they had to set a new deadline for the lists while the main opposition has argued that the only amendments permitted following the recent ConCourt order is for the voters’ registration to take place.

The ANC stands to lose the most if the DA wins the case, as it failed to submit full candidate list in more than 20 municipalities.

Judgement is set for 10 am.

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